Polls: Post China Virus, Britons, Americans Willing to Give Up Liberties
BY R. CORT KIRKWOOD
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:
The last 15 months of China Virus shutdowns and mask mandates have given Americans a taste of authoritarianism, and they apparently like it. The same is true for Britons.
Polling data pulled together by the libertarian Reason magazine also show that restrictions to basic liberties needn’t be tied to the potentially deadly Asiatic pathogen. Many of those polled will happily curtail their activities and freedom of movement for the “common good.”
That, of course, is defined by the same power-mad politicians and public-health authorities who shut down the world economy after China unleashed the virus.
“Public willingness to sacrifice for the common good in a time of crisis has surprised ministers,” The Economist noted last week. “But the pandemic has also revealed John Bull’s authoritarian streak.” The magazine went on to report on the results of polling conducted along with Ipsos MORI that found a surprising degree of support among Britons not just for the lockdowns of the past year, but for maintaining restrictions sold as efforts to head off the spread of COVID-19.
Two-thirds of those polled want masks, social distancing, and travel restrictions “until covid-19 is controlled worldwide, which may take years,” The Economist reported.
Then comes this frightening fact from the polling report: “[A] sizeable minority would like personal freedoms to be restricted permanently.”
You read that right: “Restricted permanently.”
What might those restrictions include, and what’s the level of support? Try these on for size:
- keeping nightclubs and casinos closed forever (26 percent);
- enforced social distancing in theaters, pubs and sports grounds (34 percent);
- mandatory 10-day quarantines for people returning from foreign countries (35 percent); mandatory tracking-app check-ins when entering pubs and restaurants (36 percent);
- mandatory masks in shops and on public transportation (40 percent); and
- foreign travel allowed only with proof of vaccination (46 percent).
As well, the Ipsos poll found that “majorities favor keeping some controls in place ‘until COVID-19 is under control worldwide.’”
The madness isn’t confined to England.
“A plurality of voters say their area should start to roll back coronavirus restrictions when at least 75 percent of the local population is vaccinated,” The Hill reported of the Hill-HarrisX poll:
Thirty-four percent of registered voters in the March 5-8 survey said restrictions should be lifted when at least 75 percent of the population in an area has been vaccinated.
Roughly a quarter of respondents, 24 percent, said restrictions should be rolled back right now, while 21 percent said the vaccinated population should reach at least 50 percent capacity first.
Another 7 percent said restrictions should be lifted when one in four people have been vaccinated, while 14 percent said restrictions should be kept in place “indefinitely.”
Again, you read that right: Virus restrictions will be “indefinite.”
A Reuters survey the same month found strong support for restrictions on those who aren’t vaccinated, Reason reported:
The poll found majority support for barring the unvaccinated from airplanes (63 percent), public schools (59 percent), gyms (54 percent), theaters (56 percent), and offices where they’re employed (56 percent). All of this even though the vaccines against COVID-19 are remarkably effective at shielding those who take them against illness, no matter the status of people around them.
Continued Reason, “admittedly, that was several months ago, before everybody who wanted a COVID-19 vaccine had an opportunity to get jabbed; fears may have calmed since then. But more recent surveys showing a continuing expectation of, and taste for, restrictions.”
Thus, 62 percent of those polled in June by East Carolina University backed last year’s stay-at-home-orders even after the economic wreckage they caused and the sight of politicians and other prominent officials violating those orders with impunity.
“Similar majorities favored face-covering mandates (65.1 percent) and quarantine requirements (67.9 percent) imposed in many states over the past year — but also said that wasn’t enough,” Reason reported:
COVID-19 “was a problem and not enough was done early on to stop it from getting worse,” agreed 62.6 percent of those polled. A dissenting 28.5 percent believed “it was a problem, but governments overreacted.”
A Gallup survey in June found that 35 percent believe “healthy people should ‘stay home as much as possible to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus,’” and “a depressingly high 40 percent say that life will ‘never get back to normal.’”